First Alert Friday: tracking rain to snow and cold

Chief Meteorologist Heather Haley is watching the rain-snow line and snowfall potential.
Published: Jan. 7, 2021 at 4:46 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 7, 2021 at 11:28 AM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Rain is moving into our area late Thursday, but changing to snow in the higher elevations and then that rain-snow line closes in as temperatures dip. Our WVLT First Alert starts tonight and lasts into your Friday, with messy wintry mix weather.


Clouds are increasing today, out ahead of that wintry system. We have a mostly cloudy afternoon, with a spotty shower possible. Today’s high is still mild mid 40s for most, with a high around 46 in Knoxville.

Showers increase this evening, coming up from the Southwest. We start our WVLT First Alert tonight, as rain moves in and changes to sleet and snow in the higher elevations. As temperatures drop to around 35 degrees in the Valley, then that rain to snow line closes up in parts of the valley and adds to the mess potential for the morning hours.

Friday morning is the greatest risk for sleet and snow to add to the mess in the Valley, and a small warmup to the upper 30s can pull that back to all rain. The snow is much more persistent in the mountains, which is why the accumulations are greatest and there’s a Winter Storm Watch. Outlining the Valley is a tight-line of sleet to snow, and since this is coming up from the Southwest, the pockets of bursts of accumulating snow are on the Plateau to Northeast Tennessee and far Southeastern Kentucky.

Caution is needed on the roads all day Friday. In the morning, it’s wet roads in the Valley with a potential for some slush to snow and limited visibility. Outlining the Valley, it’s more ice and snow potential.

Rain to sleet and snow
Rain to sleet and snow(WVLT)


Friday night’s low of 28 degrees, can easily create new patches of ice on roads that were previously just wet.

The weekend clears out and stays chilly. Saturday is partly cloudy, with a high of 40 degrees.

Sunday morning is very cold in the low 20s, and then mostly sunny with a high of 44 degrees.

Monday comes with rain showers again, and a chance to see that change to snow showers Monday night. The colder air looks like it will allow more snowfall for area as a whole.

There’s a few mountain-top snow showers Tuesday and Wednesday but the rest of us are partly cloudy and a typical chill.

Stick with WVLT News for the latest on our local forecast!

8-day forecast
8-day forecast(WVLT)

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